IELTS: Mini-lesson review

11th January 2022

Tricot | Wiki | Asian Music Amino

The photo shows Tricot who are a Japanese rock band. The band, who sing in Japanese, are very talented. I would love to see them. Furthermore, I really wish to visit Japan although hotels in Tokyo cost an arm and a leg.

Let’s review the idioms and vocabulary covered in our first lessons. Let’s kick off with:

Basic idioms:

it’s raining cats and dogs

it costs an arm and a leg

piece of cake

I’m burning the candle at both ends

once in a blue moon

pass with flying colours

turn over a new leaf

put your nose to the grindstone

IELTS - Tôi tự học!: [IDIOMS] : " It's raining cats and dogs"

Let’s put it to the test – what idioms would you use ?

It’s no problem at all, it’s a __________

She needs to get a high score, I want her to ______

I must be more serious about learning piano. I have to _______

The iPhone X is very expensive, it _______

You need to stop going out every night and missing school. You need to _____________

She dances all day, then sings all night; she’s _________________

Bring an umbrella if you go to the UK, it’s always ____________

Ms Anna simply adores Chanel perfume however, because it _____________ , she only wears it __________________________________.

Relative Pronouns

Happy African Girl Studying In... - Stock Photos | Motion Array

This lady, who wants to work in London, is studying hard for her IELTS.

who for people:

This is the man who helped me to learn German. 

which for things:

We tried fish and chips which is delicious.

where for places:

Let’s go to the shop where we saw the great bargains.

Whose possessive:

That’s Tricot, the band whose record we heard last night.

TRICOT discography and reviews

Endgame

Can you remember, what word means ‘everywhere’ ?

Can you give me an example ?

Instead of saying, “I think,” you could say … ?

Again, please give me an example.

The Talmud: Why has a Jewish law book become so popular? - BBC News

Middle Age Arabic Couple, Woman And Man Serious Face Thinking About  Question, Very Confused Idea Stock Photo, Picture And Royalty Free Image.  Image 104957805.

Answers

Ubiquitous:

In Sai Gon, which is the largest city in Viet Nam, coffee shops are ubiquitous.

Motorbikes are ubiquitous in Viet Nam.

Fast food shops are ubiquitous in the USA.

In my opinion

In my opinion, learning English is incredibly important.

Sai Gon, in my opinion, is the best city in Viet Nam.

In my opinion Tricot are absolutely amazing.

10 Useful Ways to Say Goodbye in Japanese | FluentU Japanese
Goodbye, see you next class

Please Note: All photos are taken from Google Images or free photo sites, and are used for educational purposes only. No copyright infringement or offense is intended. If I have used your photo or image, and you wish me to remove it, just ask. This site is not monetized, I run it on my own dollar. Thank you.

2022 – The Year of the Grammar. Back to Basics

5th January 2021

Basic grammar is a continual problem with my online classes, that and the stubborn reluctance [contumacy for those who like to learn new words] to write down new words, or to learn from their mistakes.

Basic grammar is basically lacking.

Many older student will, I am sure, have traumatic memories of conjugating verbs endlessly, without ever applying them in real-life situations. Hence, I propose a synthesis; drilling of verb ending, and then applying them in simple sentences.

Enough preamble, let’s go to work !

Let's go to work.

The verb ‘to be’

Only teach constructions in upper level classes

I am // I’m

you are // you’re

he is // he’s

she is // she’s

it is // it’s

Mr John is // Mr John’s

we are // we’re

they are // they’re

Have students repeat until their grammar is perfect. Make games, see who can conjugate the verbs clearest and quickest.

Now … practice:

First let’s use an adjective:

happy / sad / lucky / hard-working / lazy

Let’s start with the adjective ‘happy’

I am happy // I’m happy

you are happy // you’re _______

he _____ \

she ______ \

it _______\

Mr John ______ \

we ____ \

they ______

Secondly, let’s use a continuous verb (verb + ing)

reading / playing / swimming / watching TV / eating

I am reading

you ___ _______

he __ _________

she __ _______

It __ _______

Mr John __ _____

we __ ______

they __ ________

The verb ‘to have’

I have

you have

he has

she has

it has

Ms Jane has

we have

they have

Now … practice:

Let’s use some common nouns

Watch Twin Sisters Online | Vimeo On Demand on Vimeo

sister (or twin sister) / piano / dog / iPad / new book

I have a ____

you ____ ______

he ___ _________

she ___ _______

Ms Jane ____ _______

we ____ ______

they ____ _______

OK, Snoopy, enough is enough … but we have just started. More blogs to follow.

Happy 2022, the Year of the Grammar

Please Note: All photos are taken from Google Images or free photo sites, and are used for educational purposes only. No copyright infringement or offense is intended. If I have used your photo or image, and you wish me to remove it, just ask. This site is not monetized, I run it on my own dollar. Thank you.

I Me Mine: Pronoun Declensions

3rd December 2021

Any excuse for a Beatles-related photo.

The English language, despite having a multitude of idioms, slang, vernacular, dialects, neologisms etc, can be easier to learn than other languages when it comes to the definite article. I am referring to the word ‘the’.

English nouns have no gender; the language doesn’t have the complex German structure of declension when the word ‘the’ changes depending if the noun is the subject, object or indirect object.

However, it’s not all plain sailing. English speakers employ declension when it comes to pronouns. Please allow me to illustrate:

A cuckoo clock, invented in Germany (not Switzerland, as is often believed).

I bought this clock from a friend so it now belongs to me. It is my clock, it is mine.

However, with the wrong declension:

Me bought this clock from a friend so it now belongs to mine. It is I clock, it is my.

Last night, a level 6 class (aged around 10) were having a lesson on conservation. The examples were all in the second person (your), and the students were having problems changing the pronoun. Hence, this blog:

School Kids Stock Photos & Royalty-Free Images from PhotoDune
Let’s go to work

Let’s keep it simple. There are three cases:

the subject, the object and the possessive

I, Me, Mine

In our example I bought this clock from my friend, the first noun is ‘I’ (subject)

so it now belongs to me. (object)

It is my clock, it is mine. (possessive)

Now … let’s practice

I // me // my or mine

you // you // your or yours

he // him // his

she // her // her or hers

we // us // our or ours

they // them // their or theirs

EXAMPLE: What can you do to stay healthy ?

black-lady-weights - Carla Fields Fitness

I can exercise. Being healthy is important to me. These are my weights. They are mine.

How about changing the pronoun ? Tell me about this man:

Charlie Chaplin Archives - Redsvn.net

He is very funny. Many people like him. It is his dog. The dog is his.

Tell me about this lady

Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai disappeared after denouncing rape - Tennis  - Sports - Nenroll-Nenroll

— is very happy. I can not beat — in a game. — racket (bat) is very expensive. It is —-.

Let’s use ‘you’

Ayushmann Khurrana wanted to shave his head for Bala, says 'I resembled my  grandfather after prosthetics' | Bollywood - Hindustan Times

— can wash your hair. I will buy some cologne for — . It is —- cologne, it is —– .

Tell me about these people

—- are American. If you go to the USA, maybe you will meet —-. This is —– flag, it is ——.

Please Note: All photos are taken from Google Images or free photo sites, and are used for educational purposes only. No copyright infringement or offense is intended. If I have used your photo or image, and you wish me to remove it, just ask. This site is not monetized, I run it on my own dollar. Thank you.

IELTS: Focus on India

18th October 2021

Image result for hello India

Firstly, a big hello to all my readers and followers in India. I want you all to know how much I appreciate you taking the time to check out my blog. Thank you so much.

Exercise one: Find out some basic information about India from the internet, such as capital and major cities, population, food, religion, imports and exports.

I give you four minutes to do an Internet search, then present to class. DO NOT simply read from Wikipedia.

Exercise two:

Adjectives: look at the photos and describe what you see.

Try these adjectives:

exotic / mysterious / exquisite / captivating / enchanting

How Narendra Modi inaugurated Abu Dhabi's first Hindu temple | Condé Nast  Traveller India
Image result for Indian culture
Image result for Indian culture

Exercise two: compare and contrast

Does this look like YOUR city ? What is similar, what is noticeably different ?

Image result for Indian city scene
Image result for Indian train station
School, Colleges to Reopen From Next Month? What we Know so Far

Vocabulary building and listening

In the real world, most students will not be communicating with English-language teachers, but probably with other non-native speakers, so learning to appreciate and understand English spoken with a ‘new’ accent is an extremely useful skill. Here’s a great video which features a charming young Indian lady teaching new vocabulary: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKUxuD0m5A8

New Vocabulary:

Instead of using ‘very’ + adjective (I am very tired), use a single word:

Try to use ‘sagacious’, ‘exquisite’, ‘colossal’ and ‘spacious

The classrooms in Block D are ……….. (big)

The furnishings are perfect, they are ……….

Building an underground train network is a ………… undertaking

The old man was ………. People came to him for advise.

This is also a listening skills exercise. 

  • Do you have any problems understanding her ? Why ?

What to do in India

The American foodie and blogger Mark Wiens travelled to Kolkata: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvNdOJMDMyQ

Listen for at least five words you didn’t previously know. In small groups ask each other:

What impressed you ? What disturbed you ? Would you like to go there ? If so, why, if not, why not ?

Here is a chance to practice adjectives, linking words and using the word ‘because’ – giving reasons, supporting your comments.

Famous Indians

In small groups, you have to make a short presentation about one of these famous Indians:

Mahatma Gandhi
Image result for famous indian siddharta buddha
Siddhartha – the Buddha
kalpana chawla
Kalpana Chawla

The class have five to ten minutes to research information, speed read and extract relevant facts with which to enlighten the class. Follow up, tell me about some Indian artists or sports stars.

And now, goodbye from this mysterious, exotic land. Hope to meet you very soon …

Image result for Indian sunset

This is an edited blog that first appeared on 24th January 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/01/24/ielts-hello-india/

Please Note: All photos are taken from Google Images or free photo sites, and are used for educational purposes only. No copyright infringement or offense is intended. If I have used your photo or image, and you wish me to remove it, just ask. This site is not monetized, I run it on my own dollar. Thank you.

Young Learners, Level 6: sensational sentences – great games

15th October 2021

Glad diverse students taking notes while working on project
Free Images from pexels.com

Outline:

To promote the natural use of adjectives in order for students to speak in longer, more detailed sentences.

To increase vocabulary by introducing new words and replacing basic adjectives with synonyms.

Increase general knowledge.

Inspire students to aim higher, to produce more elaborate answers without prompting.

So, let’s have some games.

First, a warm up. Describe these pictures in one or two sentences. I want three adjectives for each photo.

Cheerful man with coffee laughing together with woman
Free Images from pexels.com

EXAMPLE: The man is drinking coffee and he is friendly and happy. His mustache is unusual.

NOW … YOUR TURN

Young beautiful hispanic sad woman serious and concerned in worried  depressed facial expression — negative, ethnicity - Stock Photo | #141206126
lightfieldstudios.net
6,667 Angry Japanese Photos - Free & Royalty-Free Stock Photos from  Dreamstime
Dreamstime.com
How did the Russian kids made the world angry? - Luxury Topics luxury portal
luxurytopics.com
wortfm.org

What’s the story ?

Write a short story about the two photos

Set 1

abc.net.au
9 benefits of football, it makes you healthy!
newsbreezer.com

Set 2

nbcnews.com
Crazy Cajun Crabs, seafood restaurant from Fat Boyz Barbecue owners, opens  in Pompano Beach - South Florida Sun Sentinel - South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Set 3

bitlanders.com
deviantart.com

Set 4

Zambia Geography - Where is Zambia, What's in Zambia?
victoriafalls-guide.net
Zambia – A Vietnamese missionary among the street children of Africa
infoans.org

Our valuable and useful collection of adjectives

amazing, angry, Asian / beautiful, big, bored, boring /clean, clever, cute / dangerous, disappointed /easy, electric, English, exciting / fantastic, fast, fat, funny / greedy, great, Greek / happy, hard-working, healthy, high, huge / important, intelligent / Japanese / kind / lazy / messy / nervous / old, outgoing / polite, popular / quick / rude, Russian / sad, selfish, shy, sleepy, small / talkative, tiny, tired / ugly, unusual / valuable / wealthy / xenophobic / year-long, young / Zambian

4,000+ Goodbye Pictures
freepik.com

Bye Bye from the beautiful young Asian lady

Please Note: All photos are taken from Google Images or free photo sites, and are used for educational purposes only. No copyright infringement or offense is intended. If I have used your photo or image, and you wish me to remove it, just ask. This site is not monetized, I run it on my own dollar. Thank you.

Young Learners, Level 3: Doing your chores

27th August 2021

Everybody Up Unit 6 review

Child Communication Development Stages & Collaboration In 21st Century
Do you help mummy ?

Describe these pictures using adjectives, and in a full sentence

EXAMPLE – what is it ?

16/14/12 Inch) Horse-Design Backpack Girls School Bag Magical Colourful  Kids Student Bags Travel Rucksack Gifts | Wish

It’s a colourful backpack with a beautiful friendly unicorn.

Now, your turn:

1

Easy Tamagoyaki Minions :) | Bento box recipes, Lunch box recipes, Bento  box lunch

2

Robots serve up food and fun in Budapest cafe - Science & Tech - The  Jakarta Post

3

4 Write three heavy objects (things) then three light objects.

EXAMPLE: An elephant is heavy, a mouse is light

5 How can your help your mum and dad in your house ? Three ways to help out.

6 What does the young girl do before work ?

Before work the girl _________________________

Image result for black girl washing up"
Image result for black girl walking dog"
Image result for black girl cleaning her room"

7 Now what is this boy doing after school ?

After work the boy ____________

Image result for Indian boy does homework"
Image result for arab boy washes car"
Image result for boy takes out garbage"

Young Learners: Amazing Adjectives

9th August 2021

Movie and TV Cast Screencaps: Maggie Cheung as Flying Snow / Hero (2002) /  32 Screencaps
The amazing Asian actress Maggie Cheung in the famous film ‘Hero’.
The brilliant breathtaking Blues musician Robert Johnson

Adjective Game 1

Let’s start with ‘A’, the first letter. Who knows these adjectives ?

Am__________ (This word means very good, wonderful)

What other adjectives can you think of beginning with ‘a’ ?

Be___________ // (This word means very pretty)

What other adjectives can you think of beginning with ‘b’ ?

Cu__ // Dan______ // ele_____ // fan_______ (very good) // gr_______

// he________ // int_________ // Ja____ (from an Asian country) // ki___ //

la__ // me____ (not clean. Also the name of a talented footballer) //

ner___ // outg______ (opposite of shy) // pop_____ // qui__ // ru__

// sel____ // tal________ // unu_____ // valu____ (costs a lot of money)

Here Are 10 Of The Most Expensive Paintings In The World Right Now

// wea______ (if you can buy the Mona Lisa, you must be extremely wea_____) // Xenop_______ (do not like people from other countries) // ye__ – _____ (lasts for 12 months) // Zamb___ (person from Zambia)

Zambia
Zambia country profile - BBC News

Suitable answers: amazing / beautiful / cute / dangerous / electric / fantastic / greedy, great, Greek / healthy / intelligent / Japanese / kind / lazy / messy / nervous / outgoing /popular / quick / rude / selfish / talkative / unusual / valuable / wealthy / xenophobic / year-long / Zambian

Adjective Game 2

Sentence building using adjectives is very easy. Even using basic adjectives can improve your English. Colours, sizes and where someone is from are all easy adjectives. Look at this example:

The flag is very large and is white with a red circle in the middle. The flag is Japanese.

Look at these flags. Choose one and describe it to the class. Points for the students who guess which flag. Extra points if they know the country.

Adjective Game 3

Describe these people:

Albert Einstein, born in Germany
Usain Bolt, born in Jamaica
Park Soyeon - T-Ara - Posts | Facebook
Park Soyeon from Korea
Omar Sharif born in Egypt
Dr. Vandana Shiva DS.jpg
Vandana Shive from India

Love and Chaos Part 7(E) Ragno Prologue

2nd June 2021

The Stassi HQ, east Berlin. Google Images

Part Seven. Berlin. Summer 1995

One night in the Czar Bar, a tall thin man walked in, ordered a beer and, the bar stools all being occupied, stood quietly against a wall and drank alone.

Chris didn’t like the look of him from the start. He was older, probably mid-forties, possibly more. Even in the poor light of the bar, his skin was visibly pockmarked, from disease, drug abuse or both.

He had heard Germans talking about ex-Stasi (the East German Secret Police) informers and knew the incredible statistics; as many as one in four people gave information and spied on their neighbours. The forty odd years of the DDR had generated as much paperwork and files as the rest of German history combined.

This man, alone, out of place, was, Chris decided, a clear ex-informer, probably here to spy on the bar and the customers, to close it down, gather names, prosecute for all the illegal activities.

When he had finished his beer, he walked over to the bar and put the empty bottle carefully on the counter. Chris snarled,

“Another ?”

The man shook his head, and said, in English but with a soft accent,

“No, thank you.” Then he smiled. It was a smile of serenity and peace, that completely disarmed Chris who instantly changed his opinion. “Tchüss, Jake,” he said as he left.

“Ah, yeah, tchüss, Ragno,” answered Jake as he put empty bottles into a crate with one hand and pulled out three more beers with the other.

“Who was that ?”

“Oh, Ragno. Haven’t seen him for a while. Good guy. No problems, has his beer then goes.”

“So we ain’t gonna get rich off him ?”

“He’s got a young girlfriend, so . . . “

“Ah,” said Chris, “yeah, why would he get drunk if he’s got a babe waiting for him. Fuck, how does he do it ? Face like that ?”

“No, he’s a nice guy. Well, I dunno, he had a young girlfriend. Not sure if they’re still together.”

Robert, in apparent apropos of nothing, let out a,

“Shit on a stick !” while Peter lifted a half empty beer bottle to his lips and momentarily silenced the bar with an amazingly pure note.

Chris wanted to know a little more about Ragno, but a round of vodkas was ordered and by the time the bar had quietened down, he had forgotten all about him.

QI part 2. How much is true ?

13th May 2021

A follow up blog, to help wrap up lessons. At the end of an online class, I asked a question about what was inside a camel’s hump (or humps because camels can have one or two humps).

Gel layer inspired by camel fur could keep food and medicines cool | New  Scientist

One young lady was adamant that the answer was water, as her teacher had told her. What do you think ?

What do camels have in their hump(s) ?

Are you ready ?

Dear Singapore Singles, Are You Guilty of These 5 Dating Mistakes? | Lunch  Actually Singapore
Hhhmmmmm … let me think.

The answer

… it’s NOT water. A camel stores fat in the hump(s).

How do Camels survive in desert | Where do Camels store their water |  Online Learning for Kids - YouTube

OK, let’s go ! The answers are at the end of the blog.

First question: A snow leopard is a leopard. An Arctic fox is a fox, but what is a killer whale ?

Moving on to cute cats … 2) How do cats talk to each other ? Do they meow ?

Watch These Cats Carry On the Best Conversation

Let’s go back to snow leopards … 3) How loud is a snow leopard’s roar ?

Staying in the snow … 4) What colour is a polar bear ? Do polar bears play or fight with penguins ?

16 October 2011 'What's wrong with this picture?' - Revealed and new Fall  Festival costume challenge | PolarTREC

Let’s leave the animal kingdom and turn to history …

5) Where were the first boomerangs found ? Do they always return if you throw them correctly ?

Snooping Around: Did You Know...What Makes a Boomerang Come Back ?

6) How long was the 100 Years War in Europe, fought over who would be king of France ?

Finally, you must be getting hungry, so how about some food ? Want to know if you’re going to be lucky ? Try a Chinese fortune cookie … 7) What country invented the Chinese fortune cookie ?

Are Fortune Cookies from China? - Don't Believe That!
Made in China ?

The Answers

1) A killer whale is part of the DOLPHIN family. These dolphins actually work together and kill whales, so they were known as ‘whale killers.’

Read more here: https://www.ripleys.com/weird-news/or-not-killer-whales/

2) By meowing … ? No, cats meow (mostly) to get attention from humans. With other felines, cats use scent and touch, maybe hissing, and body language, but not by meowing.

3) Trick question … a snow leopard CAN’T roar; it can hiss, purr and meow but only makes a non-aggressive sounding ‘chuff’.

4) A polar bear’s skin is black, it is just the fur that is white. Also, polar bears live in the Arctic, the penguins spend their time on ice in the Antarctic, so they only meet in fake pictures.

5) Did you say AUSTRALIA … used by Aborigines ? Boomerangs were invented some time between 25 000 and 50 000 years ago, and used for hunting. The earliest one was found in POLAND, believed to be 20 000 years old. The first boomerangs DID NOT fly back. The Aborigines are thought to have discovered that a boomerang will return if made of curved wood, but these were used for sport, not hunting.

Read more here: http://www.culturequest.us/aboriginal_tools/boomerang.htm#:~:text=The%20boomerang%20was%20invented%20between,used%20for%20hunting%20and%20killing.

6) The War started in 1337 and finally ended in 1453, so a total of 116 years, although there were long periods of truce and peace.

7) Fortune cookies were invented by the Japanese in the C19th, then became popular in California, USA starting first in either San Francisco or L.A. (it is disputed, but the time period would be 1890 – 1918)

Young Learners, Level 6: Engineering projects

27th April 2021

Warm up – Here are some symbols of Viet Nam:

Can you think of symbols of the UK ?

Question: Why is Britain so big in Sai Gon ?

England Symbols And Icons. Vector Illustration Royalty Free Cliparts,  Vectors, And Stock Illustration. Image 137889874.

Answer:

Khám phá The Landmark 81 - Tòa nhà cao nhất tại Việt Nam

Landmark 81 is a super-tall skyscraper in Ho Chi Minh CityVietnam, that was designed by the British firm (company) Atkins.

Landmark 81 is the tallest building in Vietnam, and the 14th tallest building in the world.

The 461.5 metres (1,514 ft) tall, 81-storey building is built on the western banks of the Saigon River.

The development comprises (has) hotel and conference rooms, luxury apartments, high-end shops, restaurants, bars, and a multi-story observation deck.

Image result for landmark 81

Comprehension review:

What is the building called ? // Where exactly is it ? //

What firm designed it and where are they from ?

How tall is it ? // What does the complex comprise of ?

Landmark 81 Skyview Review: Is it worth? - Mylittleplan.com
How would you feel so high in the sky ?

Can you think of any tall buildings from history ?

Can you think of any amazing engineering works from history ?

Information gathering

Watch the video and collect the following information (answers at end of blog):

1) What year was Philadelphia City Hall built ?

2) Where is the Singer Building ?

3) How tall is the Metlife Tower ?

4) What year was the Chrysler Building built ?

5) How tall is the Empire State Building to the very top ?

6) What is the tallest building in Chicago called ?

7) What is the first building in the video NOT in the USA ? Where is it ?

8) How tall is Taipei 101 ? What plant does it look like ?

9) In 2010, what was the world’s tallest building ? Where is it ?

10) What will be the tallest building in the world ?

11) Work on the Jeddah Tower stopped in 2020. Can you think why ?

Interesting fact: the US architect Adrian Smith designed both the Burj Khalifa and the Jeddah Tower

However, it’s not all plain sailing. Sometimes things go wrong:

(suggest starting at number #48 at 1:20)

Answers

1) 1901 2) NYC 3) 213metres or 700 feet 4) 1930

5) 432 m or 1416 ft 6) Sears Tower (now Willis Tower)

7) Petronus Tower in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

8) 508m or 1667 ft. It resembles a bamboo plant

9) Burj Khalifa in Dubai 1

10) Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia 11) Work stopped due to COVID-19

A useful website, from April 4th 2021: https://constructionreviewonline.com/project-timelines/jeddah-tower-project-timeline-and-all-you-need-to-know/